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News Of The Day – November 30th

Biden Administration Criticized For Removing Nigeria From Religious Persecution List

Religious liberty watchdogs are criticizing the Biden administration for removing Nigeria from an annual list of religious freedom violators, charging that it denies reality and is motivated solely by foreign policy interests. An annual list released by the State Department examines the status of religious freedom in every country in the world and designates the worst violators as a “Country of Particular Concern,” which means they are guilty of “particularly severe violations of religious freedom.” Nigeria was considered a Country of Particular Concern in the State Department reports of 2020 and 2019, yet was missing in the State Department’s 2021 report. Read more about the list here.

 

New York Pastor Who Advocated Spousal Rape Resigns

Days after a video surfaced of a controversial sermon during which Bronx pastor Dr. Burnett L. Robinson seemed to advocate for spousal rape, the Seventh-Day Adventist Church has stripped him of his title permanently. Robinson made his controversial remarks during a Nov. 13 sermon on the idea that wives should “submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord,” as the apostle Paul wrote in his Letter to the Ephesians. Speaking about submission Robinson said, “You are your husband’s. You understand what I’m saying? And I would say to you, gentlemen, the best person to rape is your wife.” Read more about his resignation here.

 

Family Of Pastor Killed By Drunk Driver Forgives Perpetrator

The family and congregation of a Minnesota pastor killed in a car crash by a drunk driver have extended forgiveness to the driver after he was sentenced to almost three years in prison. Pastor Verlyn Strenge of First Baptist Church in Clearbrook was killed when his jeep was rear-ended by David Nelson, who was going close to 70mph in a 30mph zone and had a blood alcohol content of .267. Strenge’s family and congregation told Nelson that they forgave him for his actions saying, “We forgive you, Mr. Nelson. As hard as it was at first, we want you to know that we have been praying for you for the past year because we know your life has been impacted by the biggest mistake of your life,” Read more about their gracious response here.

 

11 Year Old girl Discovers Ancient Shekel Coin

An 11-year-old girl in Jerusalem uncovered a silver shekel coin that archeologists believe could have been minted by a priest in the Temple Mount 2,000 years ago. The discovery of the coin was made by Liel Krutokop, who was sifting through dirt during a family-friendly “archaeological experience”. One side of the coin bears the image of a cup and the ancient Hebrew text “Israel Shekel, Year Two”; the other face has the words “Holy Jerusalem” and a depiction of pomegranates. Dr. Robert Kool, Head of the Coin Department of the Israel Antiquities Authority, says with caution that this coin is, apparently, one of the only items we hold today that originated on the Temple Mount. Read more about the discovery here.

News Of The Day – November 23rd

Pastor Pleads Guilty To Killing His Wife

A Yonkers man pleaded guilty to manslaughter in the 2019 killing of his estranged wife in front of her grandchildren. The plea comes just over two years after Victor Mateo ran over his estranged wife with a car and then stabbed her to death with a machete, according to the District Attorney Darcel Clark. Mateo, a pastor in the Bronx, and his wife, Noelia Mateo, had been estranged for about a month when he “mercilessly killed her in front of her two young grandchildren and bystanders” on Oct. 3, 2019, Clark said. Mateo will be sentenced to 23 years in prison and five years of post-release supervision. Read more about the murder here.

 

New Hampshire Student Suspended For Saying There Are Only Two Genders

A New Hampshire high school student who was punished by his school for allegedly saying there “are only two genders” has sued the school district and its vice principal. The student and his mother filed a state lawsuit this month against Exeter High School and Vice Principal Marcy Dovholuk after he was suspended for one football game for stating his beliefs about gender in a text message to a classmate.  The student then turned the texts over to the vice principal, who, along with the football coach, allegedly told him he was “not respecting pronouns” and that he needed to “respect how people identify.” Read more about the case here.

 

Christian Teacher Makes Over 2100 Desks For Students
After the COVID-19 pandemic forced many students to attend school remotely, a Christian teacher from Central Iowa got busy making desks for children in need of a proper workspace. Nate Evans, who teaches at Des Moines Christian School in Urbandale, launched “Woodworking with a Purpose” last September when he realized that some students didn’t have a space at home to do their assignments. So far, he and his team have made over 2,100 desks. According to Evans, the effort is “100 percent led by God. I’ve always wanted to help kids. That’s why I became a teacher,” he pointed out. “Education was my ministry. In the last year or so, God has truly revealed Himself to me.” Read more about his efforts here.

 

News Of the Day – November 18th

New Poll Shows 38% Of Pastors Considering Quitting

Everyone has suffered throughout the pandemic, and pastors are no different. Many American Protestant church leaders want out, a new survey released on Tuesday has found. Reasons for their desire to quit the job is burnout, isolation, and the global pandemic, all of which had placed extreme pressure on church leaders over the past 24 months. According to the Washington Times, evangelical Christian research firm Barna Group just released a new survey that found about 38% of Protestant pastors admitted they were so stressed by their jobs that they were forced to “seriously consider” leaving full-time ministry. Read more about the survey here.

 

California Supreme Court To Decide If Pronoun Misuse Can Lead To Jailtime

The California Supreme Court will decide whether those who refuse to use LGBT pronouns should be put to jail or not. The law signed in 2017 by then-Gov. Jerry Brown, placed new restrictions on long-term care facilities and was geared toward protecting LGBT residents, yet a section on pronouns has sparked major pushback. The section makes it unlawful to “willfully and repeatedly fail to use a resident’s preferred name or pronouns after being clearly informed of the preferred name or pronouns.” Violating the law could subject the employee to criminal penalties, including fines and jail time. Read more abut the case here.

 

Researchers Identify 102 Students Who Died At Native American School In Nebraska

Researchers in Nebraska have found the names of 102 indigenous children who died at a federal boarding school in the Genoa, Nebraska area during its operation between 1884 and 1934. The US Indian School was operated by the federal government between 1884 and 1934. Brutal punishments and hard labor were commonplace for students, large numbers of whom were removed from their families and homelands against their will, prohibited from speaking tribal languages and forced to convert to Christianity in an effort to subdue or eliminate Indian culture. Read more about the discovery here. 

 

D.C. Church Offers Free Gas To 250 Drivers

Members of a Washington D.C. church filled the cars of 250 people with free gasoline and led eight people to Jesus Christ. At the event, titled “Gas on God,” members from the Greater Mount Calvary Holy Church (GMCHC) served their community by putting $20 of fuel in motorists’ vehicles. The event was held at a local BP gas station. While some church members fueled gasoline into people’s cars, Tamar Shaw took it a step further and asked if anyone needed prayer. In turn, she witnessed four individuals accept Christ as their Lord and Savior. By the end of the event, eight total people decided to dedicate their lives to Christ. Read more about the event here.

 

News Of The Day – November 16th

Charities Feeling The Pain Of Supply Chain Problems

The rising cost of items due to the supply chain delays are really putting a squeeze on how much good charities can do in the community. For so many nonprofits, the holidays are prime time for fundraising. But delays with the supply chain are impacting that effort, too. Hundreds of charities across the country are feeling the crunch of the global supply chain crisis. New research shows that nearly half of churches and faith organizations are involved in feeding the hungry, and this year they’re forced to shift processes based on longer wait times, product shortages, and unstable market expectations. Read more about the crisis here.

 

Texas Church Congregation Chants “Let’s Go Brandon”

A video posted Saturday on Twitter showing a crowd chanting “Let’s go Brandon” during an event at Cornerstone Church, has been viewed more than 2 million times. The phrase was chanted at the Reawaken America Tour rally at San Antonio’s Cornerstone Church, where popular author John Hagee serves as pastor. Christian leaders and pastors on social media joined others in criticizing the rally for chanting the phrase. Author Rod Dreher tweeted, “This is blasphemous. Shame, shame, shame! What kind of church is this?!? Repent and believe the Gospel!” Read more about the event here.

 

Pastor Killed for Refusing To Remove Church Building In Uganda

Saying a church pastor would “face the wrath from Allah” for refusing to remove his church building, Muslim extremists in eastern Uganda on Oct. 26 killed him on his animals’ grazing fields, sources said. Pastor Stephen Lugwire of Bunangwe estate in the predominantly Muslim area of Nangonde, Namutumba District, had gone to his fields when he was killed. He was 58. While untying his sheep from a tree trunk, three men dressed in Islamic attire shouted at them in a language unknown to her, said the pastors daughter, Brenda Lugwire. They were brandishing long knives and blunt objects, and one yelled that Pastor Lugwire was a “kafir,” or infidel, who had harmed the religion of Allah, she said. Read more about the murder here.

 

600 Year Old Bible Pendant Found

A 600-year-old Bible pendant that may have belonged to the family of an English king was uncovered in recent weeks by a metal detectorist who, at first, thought it was a gift shop trinket. The tiny pendant – roughly the size of a thumbnail – weighs about two-tenths of an ounce and was made of pure gold, according to the BBC. Experts say it may have belonged to relatives of King Richard III (1452 to 1485). He owned the land around the property and served as king from 1483 to 1485. The pendant depicts two patron saints of Catholicism: St. Leonard and St. Margaret. The pendant is currently in the possession of the Yorkshire Museum. It likely is worth more than $100,000. Read more about the discovery here.

 

News Of The Day – November 11th

Magic Johnson Thanks God For Living 30 Years With HIV

Los Angeles Lakers legend Earvin “Magic” Johnson recently recognized the 30th anniversary of his retirement from the NBA following his HIV diagnosis. On Sunday, Johnson, now 62, took to social media to reflect on how God has used the past three decades of his life. He wrote, “God has really blessed me! Today marks 30 years living with HIV, so the message resonated with me in such a tremendous way. I thank the Lord for keeping me, giving me strength, and guiding me for 62 years but especially the last 30.” Johnson is a member of West Angeles Church of God in Christ in LA. Read more of his testimony here.

 

Pastor John MacArthur Says Zoom Church Is Not Church

For those who who worship at their church through zoom, pastor John MacArthur has a message. Zoom church cannot fulfill the New Testament’s commands for Christians. “Zoom church is not church. It’s not church. It’s watching TV,” MacArthur told members of his congregation, Grace Community Church in California. “There’s nothing about that that fulfills the biblical definition of coming together, stimulating one another in love and good works … sitting under the Word of God, praying together, being led by those who preach the Word and open the Scripture.” Read more about his views on zoom church here.

 

U.S. Supreme Court To Discuss If Death Row Inmates Are Entitled To A Pastor

 A Texas inmate’s request that his pastor be able to touch him and pray aloud with him in the death chamber met a mixed reception on Tuesday at the Supreme Court. Some justices said the request was a modest one that respected the inmate’s right to exercise his faith in his final moments while others disagreed. Lawyers for the inmate have argued that the state’s actions violate the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment guarantee of the free exercise of religion as well as federal law. For the past four years, the inmate in question has been a member of the Second Baptist Church in Corpus Christi, though he cannot attend services in person. Read more about the lawsuit here. 

 

Veterans Untied Home Loans Launches National Campaign To Highlight Vets

Veterans United Home Loans, a Missouri-based mortgage lender and the nation’s largest Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) loans provider, announced its donation of 11 homes to 11 deserving U.S. veterans. Veterans United teamed up with Marine veteran and comedian Rob Riggle to select 10 veterans making a difference in their communities for 10 home giveaways and is donating one more to any veteran who enters for a chance to win at ThanksToVeterans.com. Veterans play a pivotal role in strengthening civic health, from volunteerism and voting to charitable giving and community involvement. Read more about the giveaway here.

 

 

 

 

 

News Of The Day – November 9th

Tennessee Pastor Tackles Gunman

As Nashville pastor Ezekiel Ndikumana was praying with parishioners, a man at the front of his church pulled a gun out and pointed it at the congregation. The pastor, who has been called a hero, said God told him what to do. He leapt into action, as video shows Ndikumana on camera tackling the gun-wielding man into the aisle. He held him down until police arrived at the scene. The incident led to the arrest of Dezire Baganda, 26, who police said faces more than a dozen felony aggravated assault charges. Read more about this heroic pastor here.

 

Broadway Star Says He Was Fired For Being A Christian

A Tony-nominated Broadway star is suing the hit show “Come From Away,” alleging that he was fired for his Christian beliefs. Chad Kimball claims in a new lawsuit that the popular musical’s production company “unlawfully terminated [him] wholly or partly because [his] religious beliefs simply made them uncomfortable.” Kimball describes himself in the court documents as “a devout and practicing Christian. He says it all happened after Kimball tweeted his opposition to the ban on singing in churches saying in part, “Respectfully, I will never allow a Governor, or anyone, to stop me from SINGING, let alone sing in worship to my God. Read more about the firing here.

 

Seminaries Sue Biden Over Vaccine Mandate

Two prominent evangelical seminaries are challenging the Biden administration’s vaccine mandate in federal court. Attorneys for the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and Asbury Theological Seminary filed a petition in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit alleging the rules violate the religious freedom of the seminaries. Al Mohler, president of Southern Seminary, said the two schools had “no choice but to push back against this intrusion of the government into matters of conscience and religious conviction.” Read more about the lawsuit here.

 

Students Sing To Teacher With Stage 4 Cancer

A Big Bend teacher battling stage 4 cancer received a heartwarming surprise from her young students. Carol Mack has taught first and second grade at Christ Lutheran School in Big Bend for 45 years. According to a news release from Aurora Health Care, Mack’s cancer has advanced and instead of returning to her classroom, she needs hospice care. 1st through 4th graders lined up outside the hospital entrance where Mack was there to greet her current and former students, including some of their parents whom she also taught, and hear the kids sing worship songs to her before saying goodbye. Read more of this touching serenade here.

November 4th – News Of the Day

Winsome Sears Thanks Jesus For Historic Win

Winsome Sears made history after becoming the first black woman ever to be elected the lieutenant governor-elect of Virginia. She celebrated her victory alongside Governor-elect Youngkin, telling those at the election night watch party that she is living “the American dream.” “God bless you,” she said at the end of her speech, thanking her staff for their tireless efforts. “We ran an impossible, improbable campaign. God was exactly with us, otherwise we would never have made it. And so I want to finish up by thanking you, Jesus. How sweet it is!” Read more about her victory here.

 

Virginia Mega-Pastor Arrested For Soliciting Sexual Relations From Minors

A Virginia megachurch pastor was one of 17 people arrested in a recent 2-day sting operation set up by local law enforcement to identify individuals soliciting sexual relations from minors. On the list was 51-year-old Virginia Beach pastor John Blanchard of Rock Church International in Virginia Beach. “The suspects arranged to meet them at a location to have sexual relations. When the suspects came to the location, they were met by police and arrested,” said the Chesterfield police department. Blanchard has been charged with “felony solicitation of prostitution and use of a vehicle to promote prostitution.” Read more about the arrest here.

 

Mom Killed By Stray Bullet While Reading Bible To Daughter

The family of an Illinois woman who was shot and killed while reading the Bible to her daughter says they are clinging to their faith in Jesus, knowing they will see her again in heaven. The mother, Melanie Yates, only 23, was shot and killed in her home by what police say was a stray bullet fired from the street. She was reading the Bible to their 7-month-old daughter, Lydia, in their home when she was struck. She was taken to the hospital, where she died. Melanie’s mother, Lam Calderon, said that Melanie often read Scripture to her children. The family has set up a GoFundMe page to raise money for Daniel and their two children. More than $140,000 has been raised. Read more about the tragedy here.

 

 

 

 

News Of The Day – November 2nd

The Chosen Christmas Special Breaking Ticket Sales Records

The Christmas special for “The Chosen,” the first-ever multi-season television show about Jesus, has already broken Fathom Events’ record with $1.5 million in sales in the first 12 hours. “Christmas with The Chosen: The Messengers,” which features actors from “The Chosen” series, airs in theaters on Dec. 1 and Dec. 2.  Just hours after tickets went on sale during a livestream with show creator Dallas Jenkins Tuesday night, pre-sale records were shattered for the distributor. Through the Christmas special, creators hope the viewers will connect with the Gospel personally, whether through song or the spoken word. Read more about the special here.

 

Florida Elementary School Slammed For Filed Trip To Gay Bar

Local parents are upset that a Florida elementary school took students on a field trip to a gay restaurant and bar. Sarah Leonardi, who serves on the Board of Education for Broward County Schools in South Florida posted on Facebook, “I was SO honored to be invited to chaperone Wilton Manors Elementary’s field trip to the incredible Rosie’s!” The post included photos of the group sitting at tables, coloring pictures of pumpkins, and posing in front of the restaurant’s sign.  The field trip received criticism from conservatives, who pointed to the excursion as the latest example of schools trying to force leftist ideology onto children. Read more about the trip here.

 

Biden Says The Pope Called Him A Good Catholic

President Joe Biden told reporters on Friday (Oct. 29) that when he met with Pope Francis earlier in the day, the pontiff told the president he was a “good Catholic” and should continue taking Communion. The pope’s alleged remarks constitute an apparent rejection of some conservative Catholics in the U.S., including some U.S. bishops, who have suggested Biden be denied the Eucharist because of his support for abortion rights. Biden said that he and the pope did not discuss abortion during their record-setting, more than an hour-long visit earlier in the day. Vatican officials did not immediately respond to a request to confirm the account. Read more about the visit here.

 

80 Year Old Man Fights Off Bear With Fists

Norman Ruff had seen signs of bears before around his cottage near Port Carling in Muskoka. Garbage cans knocked over. Bird feeders knocked off. But he had never actually spotted one. Until a black bear trapped in his kitchen woke up the 80-year-old man and his wife, Lois. Ruff said he punched the bear several times on the nose. Ruff had managed to open the front door during the altercation and the bear eventually found his way out. The Ontario Provincial Police this week presented Ruff with a Citation for Bravery. He was taken to the hospital in Bracebridge where he underwent surgery for injuries to his thumb, and rabies shots. Read more about this brave man here.

News Of The Day – October 28th

Biden State Department Issues First Passport With X Gender Marker

The State Department on Wednesday issued the first U.S. passport with an “X” gender marker, granting a third option for American passport holders who do not identify as female or male. The move was announced by Secretary of State Antony Blinken and said it means Americans will no longer require a medical certificate to opt-out of choosing a specific gender. The department did not specify to whom the passport was issued. Evangelist Franklin Graham criticized the move and urged Christians to pray for the nation. Read more about the passport here.

 

Second City In Ohio Criminalizes Abortion

The city of Mason, Ohio, recently voted to criminalize abortion. As per the ordinance, anyone who violates the ban could receive a $2,500 fine per abortion and up to a year in prison. Additionally, anyone who “aids and abets” an abortion will become “a criminal and a felon.” The ordinance was drafted by the Mason City Council in collaboration with Sanctuary Cities for the Unborn, a Texas-based nonprofit. The group has previously helped at least 39 cities in Texas, Nebraska and Ohio ban abortions. Mason’s abortion ban, scheduled to go into effect in November, is the second city in Ohio to ban abortion after the city of Lebanon. Read more about the ban here.

 

Popular Astronomer Says World Was Made By Aliens In A Lab

Avi Loeb, bestselling author and the former chair of Harvard’s astronomy department, penned an op-ed in Scientific American this week positing that the universe could have been formed in a lab by an “advanced technological civilization.” Loeb has also insisted in the past, that aliens have already visited the earth. Ken Ham, Director and CEO of Answers In Genesis, answered Loeb’s claims by responding. “It’s obvious our universe didn’t come from nothing and that there is a Creator – but sinful hearts suppress the truth and will believe in anything (literally anything) rather than accept the truth of God’s Word,” Read more about the alien theory here.

 

Giant Eagle Owl Spotted After Being Unseen For 150 Years

British scientists working in Ghana have rediscovered a “holy grail” giant owl that has lurked almost unseen in African rainforests for 150 years. “Shelley’s Eagle Owl” was spotted in October in what has been hailed as a “sensational discovery” by ecologists. With only a few thousand thought to be in existence, the species is officially classified as being at risk of extinction. Before the photo snapped earlier this month, there have been no confirmed sightings of the giant bird since the 1870s. It is one of the largest species of owl, and females can grow to a total length of 30 in., with a wingspan of 6 ft 2 in., with males being slightly smaller. Read more about the owl here.

News Of The Day – October 26th

Pastor Faces federal Charges For Performing Fraudulent Marriages For Green Cards

Joshua Olatokunbo Shonubi, a/k/a Olatokunbo Joshua Shonubi, age 50, of Bowie, Maryland, received a federal charge of conspiracy to commit marriage fraud and visa fraud and for presenting false documents to a federal government agency, in connection with a scheme to fraudulently obtain permanent resident status for foreign nationals by arranging marriages to U.S. citizens. Shonubi faces a maximum of five years in federal prison for conspiracy to commit visa fraud and marriage fraud and a maximum of five years in federal prison for each of six counts of presenting false documents to a federal government agency. Read more about the charges here. 

 

Apple Pulls Bible App From App Store In China

In a move showing Apple has little concern over the freedom of religion atrocities committed in China, the company has pulled a Bible app and a Quran app from its App Store in China after the Chinese government complained that the apps violated local laws on religious texts. The Chinese market makes up a significant portion of Apple’s sales, and the company depends heavily on manufacturers in the country to make its products. Some say that the relationship makes it difficult for the tech giant to turn down the government’s requests. Yet others criticize the company for making profits the bottom line, overlooking China’s oppression of Christians and Muslims. Read more about Apple’s move here.

 

GOP Representative Suspended From Twitter For Calling Transgender Woman A Man

The official account of U.S. Rep. Jim Banks (R-Ind.) was suspended shortly after he made a comment about Rachel Levine, the assistant secretary for health within the Department of Health and Human Services. Levine was born male but identifies as female. “The title of first four-star female officer gets taken by a man,” Banks said in a tweet that Twitter deleted. Twitter suspended Banks saying he  violated a policy that prohibits harassment of individuals on the basis of gender identity. Twitter suspended Banks’ official account but left untouched his personal account, where on Saturday, he posted a statement saying he was “censored for tweeting a basic truth.” Read more about the suspension here.

 

Michael J Fox Raises 1.5 Billion For Parkinson’s Cure

Actor Michael J Fox, who has suffered with Parkinson’s since the age of 29, has been on the hunt for years for a cure. And so he started his own foundation. As the world’s largest nonprofit funder of Parkinson’s research, The Michael J. Fox Foundation is dedicated to accelerating a cure for Parkinson’s disease and improved therapies for those living with the condition today. Funding over $1.5 billion in research so far, the non-profit has fundamentally altered the trajectory of progress toward a cure. One thing Fox is sure of: He says he won’t stop fighting until there’s a cure. Read more about his foundation here.